Business

Rockwell Collins posts higher fourth-quarter earnings

Revenue up in fourth quarter, but flat for the fiscal year

Rockwell Collins Headquarters Sign
Rockwell Collins Headquarters Sign

CEDAR RAPIDS — Higher fourth-quarter earnings and sales were reported Sunday by Rockwell Collins as it announced the largest planned acquisition in its history as a publicly traded company.

The Cedar Rapids avionics, communications and information-management company has agreed to buy B/E Aerospace of Wellington, Fla., for $6.4 billion in cash and stock, plus the assumption of $1.9 billion in net debt.

Rockwell Collins recorded fourth-quarter earnings of $208 million, or $1.58 per share, for the three months that ended on Sept. 30, up 14 percent from $184 million, or $1.38 per share, during the same month of fiscal year 2015. Fourth-quarter fiscal year 2016 sales were $1.44 billion, up 4 percent from $1.38 billion in the same period last year.

For all of fiscal 2016, Rockwell Collins posted income from continuing operations of $727 million, or $5.50 per share, up 6 percent from $694 million, or $5.19 per share, in fiscal 2015. Revenues were roughly flat year-over-year at $5.3 billion.

In a conference call with analysts on Monday. Patrick Allen, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said the company was pleased with its fourth-quarter and annual financial results.

“Our government systems business posted its first full-year growth in six years, and closed out the year with fourth-quarter sales growth of 14 percent and its highest-ever quarterly operating margin,” Allen said. “We continue to see growth in our information-management systems segment in both the aviation and nonaviation businesses.”

Allen said the company expects sales to business jet and regional jet makers will fall 10 percent to 15 percent in fiscal year 2017.

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Rockwell Collins CEO Kelly Ortberg told the analysts that the purchase of B/E Aerospace has the potential to triple its sales of equipment on new-generation widebody jetliners such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. He said it also could nearly double Rockwell Collins’s sales of equipment for narrow body aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

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